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Eight, Eight, I Forget What Eight Was For: 30 Things Every Woman Should Know By the Time She's 30?

By Cindy Davis | Lists | May 4, 2012 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | May 4, 2012 |

What in the fork is happening to women in this country? Our reproductive rights are being bandied about years after we thought we had settled such issues. Magazines, tabloids, entertainment publications…the majority of them carry on with myths limiting what is and isn’t “sexy” to photoshopped, semi-anorexic models and actresses. Photographers catch celebrities in various states of “too fat” or “too skinny” and their audiences gleefully join in the derisive chants. If a woman wants to be a singer, she needs to moonlight as a stripper (or at least be able to pretend she does for the music videos), and more and more young girls have aspirations only to “be famous.” It’s hard to be a girl. But you know what? All is not lost. There are plenty of helpful people in this world—people who, just when we’ve started feeling alone, will swoop in with their good advice. There are mentors who can help us understand what today’s woman really needs—the things we should know and the things we should have to make our lives livable. People like Pamela Redmond Satran. No, not Satan, silly! S-A-T-R-A-N. What, you’ve never heard of her? Well, she’s a contributing writer for Glamour magazine, and a New York Times best selling author of such novels as: How Not to Act Old: 185 Ways to Pass for Phat, Sick, Hot, Dope, Awesome, or at Least Not Totally Lame, Beyond Shannon and Sean: An Enlightened Guide to Irish Baby Naming and The Home for Wayward Supermodels. And she has a lot of valuable wisdom to share.

In 1997, Satan Satran wrote a helpful little list for Glamour called “30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.” And what do you know, that list got passed around the interwebs faster than the first shot of Angelina’s ugly ass engagement ring. Apparently this list was so genius that readers incorrectly implicated as the author such people as Hillary Clinton and Maya Angelou. I’m certain they were both very flattered. Santa’s Satran’s list has been so popular, it was recently transformed into a book. But just in case some of you can’t afford to buy it or you wonder if it’s worth spending your money, today for the low, low price of FREE, here is a mutilated copy of the much sought after list. Now being a very helpful person myself, I’ve made a few minor adjustments. It’s not that I don’t think this a brilliant list, easily mistakable for the work of say, Jessie Jackson…rather, I (being a woman, myself) felt it could use a little tweaking. Just a tiny bit.

By 30, you should have:

1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come A good gynecologist, yearly exams and STD tests, and correct knowledge of your reproductive system, protection and birth control.

2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family big girl bed.

3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour that makes you feel good about yourself.

4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying safe, reliable car—if you live in an area without good public transportation.

5. A youth you’re content to move beyond Self-awareness. (Suprise! You don’t really have a choice about moving beyond your youth.)

6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age At least one (preferably more) consensual sexual encounter with another person.

7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it Learned financial responsibility, opened and contributed to your own savings and retirement accounts.

8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you and a telephone.

9. A (n accurate, spell-checked, grammatically correct and properly formatted) résumé, preferably checked over by someone smart that is not even the slightest bit padded.

10. One A good friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.

11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra toolbox filled with tools. ( Keep underwear in your underwear drawer with your other tool[s].)

12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it A safe place to live.

13. The belief that you deserve it Self-confidence.

14. A skin-care regimen, Knowledge of healthy foods and exercise routines that you follow when you choose and a plan for dealing with those few facets of life that don’t get better after 30.

15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better job with good healthcare benefits, by which you can support yourself.

By 30, you should know:

1. How to fall in love without losing Yourself.

2. How you feel about having kids. (Look, this one is perfect!)

3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend with-out ruining the friendship to express yourself and how to say “No.”

4. When to try harder and when to walk away hold ‘em, when to fold ‘em, when to walk away and when to run.

5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next protect and defend yourself.

6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town people important to you.

7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to and with others.

8. Where to go—be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat—when your soul needs soothing How to be happy and how to cope if you cannot.

9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents How to love yourself and others.

10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over How to forgive.

11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.

12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long Everything in moderation.

13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why what you shouldn’t take it personally.

14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault How to tell someone to kiss off.

15. Why they say life begins at 30! You shouldn’t live your life according to a list.

(Source of original list: Glamour)

Cindy Davis knows this will go down on her permanent record.